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the design. The first phase was the interviews which allowed each individual CNL the opportunity to describe their experience of being a CNL. The second phase was the group meetings. The values and interests the seven CNLs brought to both phases of the inquiry were derived from the fact they were operating in the role before and throughout the research. They were well placed, sufficiently sophisticated in their knowledge, to contest the reasonableness of the interview data as well as subsequent data arising through the action research group. The interview data was thematically analysed by myself and presented back to the group as a list of themes. The group was established and ground rules which included balanced and respectful participation were agreed upon.

I simultaneously attended through both phases as Coghlan and Brannick (2005) describe, to the content, process and premise that were taking place. On interview, facilitating writing summaries and reflections I questioned what was going on. I believe that I brought to all stages of the research my belief that whatever the query, participation with those involved is the answer, in addition to what else is happening in this context, including my role and responsibility as researcher. Prior to commencing the research and in the planning as well as the analysis, I considered the role of the researcher who is also an employee within the organisation where the research is conducted. I, as the principal investigator, was also employed as a manager in the DHB where this research was undertaken. My position as a researcher with a long-standing interest in clinical leadership is of relevance to both the interview and action research group phases as well as this position as an insider researcher.

Dowling (2006) proposes that the researcher will have an effect on the phenomenon studied and it needs to be recognised that the researcher is also affected by being in the field. From the establishment of the group and through the group process I was conscious that my role was to ensure equal participation and that all voices were heard. Coghlan and Casey (2001) consider the tension of the researcher an insider, noting that there has been limited analysis of this dual role. They acknowledge, although challenging, nurses who carry out research within their own setting do so because they aim to improve certain aspects of practice, education and management. They refer to role duality as having the


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